"The best decisions I've made in my life came during a time of drinking too much." said no one ever.
As a Christian in today's society, alcohol is somewhat of a hot topic. In a country where there is a bar, liquor store or even a pizza place that serves bourbon on every corner, it's talked about a lot. There are new craft beers, local breweries, flavored martinis and wine tastings to check out. A high majority of the people we know drink most weekends, if not daily. So where is the cut off for a Christian?
To start, I would say as a side note, we live in a country that has an age limit for alcohol consumption. The fact that we have an age limit means that there is an enormous amount of responsibility that should come with this. We probably should have a maturity limit as well!
I read a quote recently that said,"With every picture, tweet and event that centers on alcohol, I wonder: isn't anyone friends with alcoholics?" Although we may not have an addiction to alcohol, others around us may. So we must be sensitive to them.
Romans 14:21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else if it might cause another to stumble.
Romans 15:1 We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves.
1 Corinthians 8:9 But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble.
I often say that a high number of us as Americans can not be told that a glass of wine is actually beneficial to us because we are not very good at moderation. Go into any restaurant and look at the meal you just ordered! The serving size of this meal is not just for one! We're in excess of everything here. But I'm not talking about gluttony today. That will be a future blog! Alcohol can be very dangerous and we need to ask ourselves some questions when deciding whether or not to have a drink:
- Am I in control? Does the alcohol cloud my judgment in any way lessening my impact on my job, my family, my responsibilities or, most important, my walk with God?
- Why do I need a drink right now? Can I go a day without it? A week?
- Can I afford to drink like I have been? Am I financially in debt yet still buy my six-pack every night?
- Is there someone around me that would be influenced by this? See above verses.
- Am I driving? I cannot understand for the life of me why anyone would risk this! I have heard too many stories of DUI's, DWI's and worst case scenarios of death based on alcohol intake.
- If married, is your spouse at all concerned about how often or how much you're drinking? If so, why would you challenge this? If anyone has ever called you an alcoholic I recommend you really think about what made them say that and allow pride and ego to fall by the wayside.
Drinking alcohol is not a sin. Drinking too much is! Ephesians 5:18 Don't be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit.
This is a great topic to discuss with someone close to you especially if you feel as though this is too close to home. Alcohol to most people is a release of stress. We go to it when we need to relax or unwind. I wonder what it would feel like if we went to the ultimate source of rest, Jesus Christ instead. Seems like a Christian answer because it is. It is what we are called to do. Anything we do should glorify and point others to Him. I can't imagine drunkenness marketing Jesus very well.
For more verses on alcohol see Proverbs 23:29-35 Isaiah 5:22
This is a heavy topic. I'm not here to judge but I am here to hopefully make you think. Alcohol is a slippery slope. Why do I feel as though I will not be invited to as many parties after writing this blog?